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i will design the master arcade

I saw a video today where the narrator said something that struck me a little harder than I thought.

"It's too bad arcades are dead . . ."

I had to think about that for a moment.

Yeah, I guess they are.

The last arcade I went to was GameWorks which is only a few miles away from me. It was cool and all that but I could tell just by being there that the glory days of arcades were long gone. Several of the games were not working and the "good" games didn't hold a candle to the graphics you can get on modern consoles.

I also felt like the oldest guy in the place. For all I know I probably was.

There was a Ms. Pac-Man cocktail table machine there but the screen was "milked" out so it really couldn't be enjoyed (and that's why I didn't play it.)

. . .

There's a big reason why arcades are dead:

  1. The ones that exist aren't designed properly.
  2. There is am improper mix of old and new games.
  3. I haven't seen one yet that has internet connectivity.
  4. Difficult to buy food and drinks in the place (if it's even offered.)

If I were to design my own cafe, this is how I would do it:

All arcades should be dark. Very dark.

There are several reasons for this:

  1. You can see the screens better.
  2. Darkness allows you to become engrossed in the game you're playing.
  3. Lighted items show up much better.

My floors would have lighted lines so you could figure out where you're going. There would be black lights in several places along with other lighted items to give the whole place an outer space feel to it.

There would be five game rooms.

The "new" room would have the modern offerings. Multi-player machines would also be present here.

The "classic" room would have all the goodies we all remember. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Galaga, Mr. Do! and Tempest to name a few.

The "pinball" room would be nothing but pinball machines. This is something many existing arcades lack. Why? Because they're much more expensive to maintain than video-based machines. But my pinball room would have the goods.

The "card" room is for Dungeons & Dragons and Magic The Gathering players. It's a tastefully done room in medieval style with several tables and comfortable chairs. I could easily see people of all ages gathering in this room often to play RPG card games.

The "internet" room is done in the style of internet cafes. There would be 20 PC's; ten on each side. All connected with good internet games. Like the card room, this place would be easy for teams to gather and play.

Hang on, I'm not done yet, there's three more rooms to go. 😀

The lobby is where everyone enters first. This is where you can buy tokens, reserve tables, buy time on in the internet room, etc. This is a well-lit room.

The eatery is a place for people to sit and eat, plain and simple. You could get sandwiches, sodas and I would make darn sure that the coffee is always good. 😉

The theater is actually a mini-theater, like the ones you see in small malls. I would have family-friendly movies play here only. There would be movies playing all day and it would be cheap to buy a ticket. And yes I'd make sure to have a popcorn machine working for people who would want some.

. . .

Yes, I know this is an extremely ambitious, extremely expensive project. It would take a semi-large area to pull it off and I would have to make sure it was designed right, staffed right and secured properly.

It may or may not happen but it sure is nice to think about. Whether I do it or someone does it before me, the return of the arcade won't be just an arcade. It must offer something for everyone, be a spectacle to behold and moreover give people a reason to get out of the house to go there. (heh)


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